What Are Annotations on YouTube?

What Are Annotations On Youtube

As a YouTuber, knowing the different features you can use to create a better video is handy. YouTube keeps adding new features to support content creators. You might have seen someone add different cards and, in some cases, text boxes in their video.

That’s an example of YouTube annotations and cards. This post will discuss annotations on YouTube to understand what they are and whether you can use them.

Quick Answer

YouTube initially released YouTube annotations to add interactive boxes or links to a video. The feature allowed creators to add text boxes to their videos. The text boxes could be notes encouraging people to subscribe, share jokes, etc. Plus, the boxes could be used as hyperlinks to other videos or websites, so viewers could tap on them to access the linked site. YouTube annotations have been replaced by YouTube cards, which serve almost the same task.

This post covers YouTube annotations. We will discuss the feature and how you could utilize it as a content creator. Still, we will introduce YouTube cards and compare them with annotations. Let’s begin!

What Are Annotations on YouTube?

When creating a YouTube video, you may want a way to encourage your viewers to perform different tasks. For instance, you could wish to encourage your viewers to view another video or access a different website.

Still, you could wish to highlight a given correction in the video or encourage the viewers to support you by subscribing to your channel. How you achieve that is through YouTube annotations. Ideally, annotations refer to clickable text boxes that appear like images and aim to encourage viewers to act.

The idea behind YouTube annotations is to enhance the success of the video. For instance, you can enhance the video’s worth or success using annotations that link to a video containing more information about a given topic.

That way, the viewers won’t get stuck in understanding the content of the shared video as they have other sources to refer to. Still, annotations are an excellent way of growing your channel by encouraging the viewers to subscribe.

Are YouTube Annotations Still in Existence?

No, annotations are no longer available. Unfortunately, YouTube discontinued annotations in March 2017. YouTube ended this feature as it claimed it had few audiences. Moreover, the feature was incompatible with mobile devices and was not useful as most people access YouTube on their mobile devices.

However, YouTube replaced the annotations with YouTube Cards and End Screen. The YouTube cards are the closest thing to the annotations. The key difference is that cards appear more graphical, unlike mainly text-based annotations. Moreover, the cards will appear once you tap the “i” on the YouTube video.

Furthermore, YouTube cards are hidden because of their small size. However, the annotations could easily irate the viewer due to the size. Besides, cards are accessible even when mobile devices view YouTube content. Something that YouTube annotation was unable to achieve.


YouTube annotation was a feature introduced by YouTube to help creators add text notes to their videos to encourage viewers to act.

However, the feature was discontinued and replaced with YouTube Cards and End Screen. This post has introduced YouTube annotations and compared them with its successor, YouTube Cards.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are YouTube annotations?

It refers to a feature that YouTube introduced to help content creators encourage their viewers to perform different tasks. These text boxes are added to a YouTube video aimed at different tasks. For instance, the content creator could add a YouTube annotation to use it as a hyperlink when encouraging the viewers to access another video or website.

What is the difference between YouTube cards and annotations?

YouTube replaced the annotations with a more graphical tool, YouTube Cards. Unlike annotations, cards offer a more visual way of interacting with the viewers instead of using the text-boxes. Moreover, YouTube Cards are mobile-friendly; viewers can access them on their mobile devices. Still, YouTube Cards are unobtrusive, making it the preferred, unlike the annotation approach.

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